DNAqua-Net: Developing new genetic tools for bioassessment and monitoring of aquatic ecosystems in Europe

Florian Leese, Florian Altermatt, Agnès Bouchez, Torbjørn Ekrem, Daniel Hering, Kristian Meissner, Patricia Mergen, Jan Pawlowski, Jeremy Jay Piggott, Frédéric Rimet, Dirk Steinke, Pierre Taberlet, Alexander M. Weigand, Kessy Abarenkov, Pedro Beja, Lieven Bervoets, Snaedís Björnsdóttir, Pieter Boets, Angela Boggero, Atle Magnar BonesÁngel Borja, Kat Bruce, Vojislava Bursić, Jens Carlsson, Fedor Čiampor, Zuzana Čiamporová-Zatovičová, Eric Coissac, Filipe Costa, Marieta Costache, Simon Creer, Zoltán Csabai, Kristy Deiner, Ángel DelValls, Stina Drakare, Sofia Duarte, Tina Eleršek, Stefano Fazi, Cene Fišer, Jean-François Flot, Vera Fonseca, Diego Fontaneto, Michael Grabowski, Wolfram Graf, Jóhannes Guðbrandsson, Micaela Hellström, Yaron Hershkovitz, Peter Hollingsworth, Bella Japoshvili, John I. Jones, Maria Kahlert, Belma Kalamujic Stroil, Panagiotis Kasapidis, Martyn G Kelly, Mary Kelly-Quinn, Emre Keskin, Urmas Kõljalg, Zrinka Ljubešić, Irena Maček, Elvira Mächler, Andrew Mahon, Marketa Marečková, Maja Mejdandzic, Georgina Mircheva, Matteo Montagna, Christian Moritz, Vallo Mulk, Andreja Naumoski, Ion Navodaru, Judit Padisák, Snæbjörn Pálsson, Kristel Panksep, Lyubomir Penev, Adam Petrusek, Martin Andreas Pfannkuchen, Craig R Primmer, Baruch Rinkevich, Ana Rotter, Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber, Pedro Segurado, Arjen Speksnijder, Pavel Stoev, Malin Strand, Sigitas Šulčius, Per Sundberg, Michael Traugott, Costas Tsigenopoulos, Xavier Turon, Alice Valentini, Berry van der Hoorn, Gábor Várbíró, Marlen Ines Vasquez Hadjilyra, Javier Viguri, Irma Vitonytė, Alfried Vogler, Trude Vrålstad, Wolfgang Wägele, Roman Wenne, Anne Winding, Guy Woodward, Bojana Zegura, Jonas Zimmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The protection, preservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems and their functions are of global importance. For European states it became legally binding mainly through the EU-Water Framework Directive (WFD). In order to assess the ecological status of a given water body, aquatic biodiversity data are obtained and compared to a reference water body. The quantified mismatch obtained determines the extent of potential management actions. The current approach to biodiversity assessment is based on morpho-taxonomy. This approach has many drawbacks such as being time consuming, limited in temporal and spatial resolution, and error-prone due to the varying individual taxonomic expertise of the analysts. Novel genomic tools can overcome many of the aforementioned problems and could complement or even replace traditional bioassessment. Yet, a plethora of approaches are independently developed in different institutions, thereby hampering any concerted routine application. The goal of this Action is to nucleate a group of researchers across disciplines with the task to identify gold-standard genomic tools and novel eco-genomic indices for routine application in biodiversity assessments of European fresh- and marine water bodies. Furthermore, DNAqua-Net will provide a platform for training of the next generation of European researchers preparing them for the new technologies. Jointly with water managers, politicians, and other stakeholders, the group will develop a conceptual framework for the standard application of eco-genomic tools as part of legally binding assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11321
JournalResearch Ideas and Outcomes
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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